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Massachusetts-based Covenant Health cancels purchase of Connecticut's Day Kimball Hospital

Day Kimball Healthcare in Putnam. Massachusetts-based Catholic health system Covenant Health proposed acquiring Day Kimball Healthcare.
Yehyun Kim
/
CT Mirror
Day Kimball Healthcare in Putnam. Massachusetts-based Catholic health system Covenant Health proposed acquiring Day Kimball Healthcare.

Tewksbury, Mass.-headquartered Covenant Health has called off its proposed acquisition of Putnam, Conn.-based Day Kimball Healthcare, including Day Kimball Hospital.

Day Kimball Healthcare, like other small, rural community health networks, is saddled with debt.

Save Day Kimball Healthcare, a nonprofit group, had opposed the acquisition on the grounds that the Catholic-run health care system would create barriers to access transgender and reproductive care, including abortion procedures and access to contraceptives.

Karen Sullivan, a spokesperson for Covenant, sent a statement to Connecticut Public confirming that the regulatory approval — or CON [Certificate of Need] application — has been withdrawn with the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy.

“As part of our due diligence as we prepared for the public hearing, we became aware of new and updated information that resulted in our decision to not move forward,” she said. “It is also important to note that this had nothing to do with the Ethical and Religious Directives.”

Sullivan declined to comment further.

R. Kyle Kramer, CEO of Day Kimball Healthcare, statedon the group’s website that while Day Kimball is “disappointed by Covenant’s decision,” the management is “exploring discussions with other potential future partners to preserve essential hospital services in the northeastern Connecticut community.”

John Brady, vice president at AFT Connecticut, said roughly 5,000 of their union members live close to the hospital and depend on it for care, even though they don’t work there. The union had opposed the takeover, fearing the loss of reproductive rights.

“If Day Kimball is having difficulties, if they can’t find a suitable partner, perhaps the state of Connecticut can put some money forward,” he said.

Sujata Srinivasan is Connecticut Public Radio’s senior health reporter. Prior to that, she was a senior producer for Where We Live, a newsroom editor, and from 2010-2014, a business reporter for the station.